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State of the World’s Minorities 2007

4 March 2007

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaimed that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’. Sadly, for many minorities and indigenous peoples around the world, this inspirational text – with its emphasis on equality and non-discrimination – remains a dream, not a reality.

Ethnic or sectarian tensions are evident in many parts of our globe. In places, they have boiled over into bitter violence. The Middle East situation continues to deteriorate – with some minority communities fearing for their very survival. In Africa, the crisis in Darfur is deepening as government-sponsored militia continues to carry out massive human rights abuses against traditional farming communities. In Europe, the spotlight has fallen on Muslim minorities – with rows flaring over the Danish cartoons and the wearing of the veil and burqa.

Now more than ever, world leaders must insist that the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples be respected. The participation of minorities is essential if conflict is to be prevented and lasting peace is to be built.

This second annual edition of the State of the World’s Minorities looks at the key developments over 2006 affecting the human rights and security of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples. It includes:

  • a preface by the UN’s Independent Expert on Minority Issues
  • a unique statistical analysis of Peoples under Threat 2007
  • a special focus on the participation of minorities, with analysis from leading academics on electoral representation and the European system
  • an eye-witness report from Sri Lanka on the impact on minorities of the resurgence of conflict
  • comprehensive, regional sections outlining the main areas of concern as well as any notable progress.

The State of the World’s Minorities is an invaluable reference for policy-makers, academics, journalists and everyone who is interested in the conditions facing minorities and indigenous peoples around the world.

Download (PDF, English)